The Father, The Post, and The Fruit Tree….
Once upon a time there was a fruit tree. It was a funny little tree joined at the base with two saplings. The young farmer thought to himself “You know, the ways this tree can grow are just astounding, they could grow together, sure. But most likely, if left to mother nature they will grow apart.” The farmer knew from growing up on the farm that eventually the trees will get to the point where either:
1. One will outgrow the other and begin to suck away it’s light and nutrients, then the smaller tree will stop producing fruit, wither and die.
2. They will grow so far apart that they wont be recognizable as one tree, they’ll be structurally unsound – and the next time a strong storm comes in, the strain will be too much and one will snap off and die.
The farmer knew what he had to do: he needed to find something to support his trees, something to bind them to so they would grow tall and proud together, and bear him lots of fruit. Being a young farmer, he wasn’t sure what to use to get the job done, so he decided to try a bit of rope. This worked for a while, but soon the trees grew bigger, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get them to move any closer to one another.
Frustrated, he decided to try something different: boards and nails. He nailed the boards to the trees where they were, not to move them closer, but to keep them from growing any farther apart. Once again, this worked for a while, but then the trees started morphing and growing around the boards. Where they were once straight, they were now crooked, and they bore the scars of his handiwork for years to come.
Finally the young farmer built up the courage to ask his Father for help. His Father smiled kindly, and said “Son, you should have some to me first – your pride has kept these trees from bearing fruit, and they are of age.”
The young man’s father then gathered up all of his tools and took the boy to the tree. The two of them drove a massive post deep into the ground, and bound both trees to it with steel lashing and rubber guards. The Father said to the young man “Real support is strong, immoveable, and gentler on the trees. Because you have chosen this post, and your trees will grow tall and bear much fruit”
So it came to pass as the years went by, the trees and the young farmer grew tall and wise together, they weathered the storms and produced much fruit together, thanks to the post.
Marriage is like these trees, if left alone – without a farmer -we will grow apart, and never bear fruit. The farmer is our relationship, our joint intentions, we must be able to communicate and collaborate to make anything work. The young farmer using the rope is like tethering your marriage to love. It works great at first, but the absolute best we can do is imitate love…eventually we get off track, and the love we have for each other just isn’t enough to bind us together.
The nails and boards are like the children and the friends, and the “putting on a good face”, we tether our marriage to these out of fear, and not only does it not bring us closer, but the trouble starts to find its way around that, and we scar and warp our marriage.
Finally – The Father is God, if we go to him, and listen to his advice – we choose his method – The Post. This represents our faith, and if we tether ourselves to it, we bind ourselves to a foundation that cannot be shaken, it is bigger and stronger than we can imagine.
In the end, the post won’t stop the storms from coming…but it’s strong enough to handle anything this world can give.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6